Programme for the International
Assessment of Adult Competencies

Adult Education Survey (AES)

The AES survey covers participation in education and training (formal, non-formal and informal learning) of adult population. Further education and training behavior in Germany has been recorded since 1979 as part of the Reporting System of Further Education (Berichtssystem Weiterbildung_BSW VIII). Since 2007, this survey has been aligned with the framework of Adult Education Survey (AES) by Eurostat and is therefore comparable with other European countries (for international data see https://www.gesis.org/en/missy/metadata/AES). AES international is carried out in a 5-year cycle (2007, 2011, 2016), while the AES for Germany has a 2-year cycle (2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020); furthermore, the surveys within the framework Berichtssystem Weiterbildung are available for Germany (1979, 1988, 1991, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004).

The AES access the training behavior of people in private households in Germany with 16- to 65-year-old adults. In addition to background information, household information and educational attainment, aspects such as job-related information, characteristics of the main professional activity, information on participation in various forms of learning (Formal Education, FED), participation on non-formal Education (NFE), information on select continuing education activities, (further) education barriers, access to (further) education, informal learning (INF), social participation as a learning opportunity, foreign language skills, or ICT skills were collected. Regarding further training activities, for example, the type and scope of the further training measures, their providers and specialist areas as well as learning interests are captured.

The survey results have been made available in three data sets since 2010: a data set based on the respondents (AES personal data set), a data set based on the further training events mentioned by the respondents (event-related AES data set, non-formal education / NFE) and a data set from informal learning activities (INF dataset) mentioned by the respondents. Table 1 (350 kB) (only in German) provides an overview of the AES data sets provided by the Research Data Center PIAAC.